Survivor, by Brett Battles

From best-selling novelist Brett Battles comes the conclusion of the Rewinder Trilogy. Denny Younger. Historian. Time Traveler. Prisoner. There is nothing Denny wants more than to repair the damage former rewinder Lidia has done to history. Her manipulations have thrown the timeline he knows into chaos, and now he’s locked away in an unfamiliar world, without the device that would allow him to fix what has been destroyed. Will Denny be able to bring back the life he knew and the people he loves, or will he be trapped in this violent timeline forever? Only time will tell.

Destroyer picks up right where Rewinder leaves off. I had predicted the crux of the story at the end of Rewinder, but the author still I read Rewinder and Destroyer back in 2015, and recently subscribed to Kindle Unlimited. I saw that Survivor was available for free, so I jumped on it. Remember me being a sucker for time travel stories? Alternate history too? Dystopian? Okay, just making sure we’re all on the same page. Anyway, I liked the first two books, so it made sense to finish the series.

This third book was pretty tedious. The time travel, by necessity, was absent in this story. It does happen, but, well, it’s kind of boring. The dystopian British Empire from Rewinder was interesting, and all the time travelling in Destroyer was also interesting. This ‘wrecked’ timeline in Survivor is pretty wicked. Not ‘wicked,” as in ‘wicked-cool,’ but ‘wicked’ as in ‘holy crap, can this place get any more depressing?’

Now, I try to avoid spoilers in my reviews, but is there ever a case where we don’t think that the protagonist is going to survive the story? We have to slog through near-death experiences, knowing full well that Denny will survive. Battles didn’t even trick us with Denny dying, and an alternate Denny replacing him. That, at least, would’ve been interesting.

And where the heck are his sister and girlfriend during the events of Survivor? That was one of the awesomest (I know it’s not a word, shut it) parts of the first two books, was comparing the British colonies to our world. The girlfriend (I can’t remember her name since she was barely in Survivor) was a much-needed contrast to the dystopian world Denny came from. She made us happy to be in our world, because it could’ve turned out so much worse.

To me, the best part of alternate history or speculative history is the divergence from our reality. I like witnessing important events in history from a modern perspective, and imagining the ways that reality could be different with the slightest change. Unfortunately, with Survivor, the dystopian world is just too much baggage. The reader is stuck like Denny, which could’ve been intentional, but I suspect that’s not the case.

I’ve been overly critical of all three books, and while Rewinder was a five-star read; Destroyer was a four-star read, I’m afraid that Survivor slips further down the scale. It’s a three-star read. Don’t forget, in my rating system three stars is still average. I’d still recommend the entire series, especially since they’re free on Kindle Unlimited. If there were a fourth book that dealt with the aftermath of Survivor, I’d totally read it, but I don’t think that’s to be the case.

Brett was born and raised in southern California. His parents, avid readers, instilled the love of books in him early on, and there were many days his mom would kick him out of the house in the afternoon just so he would get a little sunshine. He is the USA Today bestselling author of over thirty novels. Though he still makes California his home, he has traveled extensively to destinations which play parts in his current and upcoming novels. He has three very cool kids—Ronan, Fiona, and Keira—who are all quickly becoming adults, which both excites and unnerves him. As for his neurotic, paranoid, cute Australian Shepherd Maggie, that’s more of a…developing relationship.


About Mark Gardner

Mark Gardner lives in northern Arizona with his wife, three children and a pair of spoiled dogs. Mark holds a degrees in Computer Systems and Applications and Applied Human Behavior. View all posts by Mark Gardner

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